|I have created this information page for all men experiencing hair loss
who may be
considering hair transplantation as a remedy. I have had extensive experience with hair
transplants and I have developed this website to share what I have learned.
account of my experience is absolutely accurate and I have not been paid by any company or
individual to bias this report.
I began to lose my hair at the age of 21. My receding hairline was
the first sign of the male pattern baldness I had inherited. My hair began to thin on top
of my head as my hairline continued to recede. I was frustrated at the thought of losing
my hair, looking older than I was, being less attractive to women, and annoyed by thinning
I visited a dermatologist and received a prescription for minoxidil (now known as
rogaine). Two years of using rogaine yielded no noticeable growth of new hair and my
existing hair continued to fall out. Now at 23 years old, I decided to give hair
transplants a try. After all, the before and after pictures in the transplant
advertisements showed incredible results were common.
I consulted with a doctor in Santa Monica, CA and he was excited about what
he could do for me. He wanted to start with 200, 4 millimeter hair plug graft. I was nervous
about the size of these grafts (roughly the size of a pencil's eraser) and so he agreed to
split them in half. Essentially each split graft contained 7-8 hairs. I didn't see any
growth for about 8 months. The growth from the grafts began to appear but was so
insignificant that I was still not satisfied (people still joked about my lack of
hair, etc...). I decided to find a doctor who could deliver the type of
results in the advertisements. I approached a second hair
transplant surgeon in Torrance, CA. This doctor had published extensive literature about
hair transplants and is often published in the Hair Transplant
forum, an industry newsletter on the topic of baldness and hair transplant
The doctor completed 4 transplant sessions, about 200 grafts per session, over the
course of one year. The grafts began to grow about 6 months after my last transplant
session. The transplants did not give me anywhere near the density that I had expected (I
would still get a severe sunburn on my head without a hat on). The
doctor seemed satisfied with the outcome... but I was not.
The 3rd and Final doctor... and the unfortunate
reality of hair transplants
Now at 25 years old I was still battling hair loss and had spent $6,000 on hair
transplants that had not lived up to the sales pitch. A Los Angeles
based hair transplant clinic began advertising the "mega-session" for hair
transplant clients. Also know as "follicular units". The idea of doing 800 or more grafts at one time, and using finer
grafts to reduce detectability sounded great. The before and after photos in their ads
were very impressive... almost to good to be true ...as I eventually found out.
I paid $4,800 for 800 mini-grafts (roughly 3-4 hairs per mini-graft). I had the
procedure done in the Beverly Hills office of this doctor's clinic in November of 1994
and three months after the procedure all of my previous transplants began to fall out! How
could this be? I was told to be patient... they will grow back. One year after
this hair transplant clinics procedure the old grafts (that had previously grown in) were not growing
back and the new grafts that the doctor had transplanted were not producing acceptable grow
(by his own admission). The hairs that did grow from the procedure were cosmetically
The doctor agreed that the results were not acceptable but he did offer me a new transplant session free of charge. The second
transplant session of approximately 750 grafts knocked out the few hair transplants that
were growing, ...due to shock I was told. The second session of transplants again produced
very little growth at all.
I contacted the doctor and requested an explanation... he didn't have one. I then
requested my $4,800 be refunded. He said that was not possible but suggested maybe they
would give me another transplant session on them. But inspection of the donor area at the
back of my head left too little hair for any additional hair grafts. Today I have
extensive scarring on the back of my head which is difficult to cover up because the
remaining hair has been severely thinned by grafting. Keep in mind I am now 32 years old
and was considered a perfect candidate for this procedure based on the
"thickness" and "density" of my donor area which is now bare.
I would suggest to anyone considering hair transplantation to give this serious
thought. Very rarely does an individual experience the type of results shown in the before
and after promotions. I feel that my experience with hair transplants, unfortunately, is
more common than any hair transplant surgeon would like to admit.
Hair loss makes men insecure which in turn makes them vulnerable. In my opinion, these
hair transplant factories are opportunists and they are experts at selling the illusion of
a youthful appearance through a full head of hair.
The law in California states that doctors can not guarantee outcomes or results.
On the day of the hair transplant, prior to the procedure, patients are given a form to
read and sign that states that the procedure is not guaranteed and that you
understand this. I find it a little suspicious that this document is handed to the
patient on the day of the surgery. At this point, the patient has taken time off of
work, they have paid for the procedure, they are nervous and anxious, and they have been
given a couple of valium. I, myself, was in no condition to read or understand this
document on the day of surgery. Had it been presented to me a week before the
operation perhaps I would have had a chance to review it properly.